Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Traditions Will Have To Wait Another Year

Wow, Christmas completely crept up on me.  I meant to sew together a banner I made two years ago, but then my sewing machine's needle broke on Halloween and I haven't yet learned how to put in a new one.  We meant to put up lights outside Thanksgiving weekend, but then the snow came and now it's too late.  I meant to clear the two huge bags of Christmas decorations we didn't put up, instead it's just currently staring me in the eye from the corner of the room.  I meant to scour Pinterest for some inspiration for Christmas morning breakfast, but now I'm trying to figure out what I can make without having to buy too much additional stuff tomorrow.  We meant to do an advent calendar scripture and activity or gift every night... but then we sort of stopped around the 8th day of December.  We have a DIY gift still not finished (though we've been working on it for what feels like every night....).  We have gifts still unwrapped.  And we have gifts still left to buy.

We do have a Christmas tree up!  We do have some gifts wrapped!  We have been talking about Jesus and his birthday celebration.  We have been watching Disney Junior shows about Christmas (and Santa too though bahhh).  We have put up our Nativity scenes.

So we do have some stuff done!

Well...better luck next year Christmas.  Those traditions I'm trying so hard to put together once Jordan is old enough to recognize it... will have to wait another year.  So far the one consistent tradition we do have down is not really completing anything.. ha!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Reflections On Snow

As cold as it's been in Salt Lake, there is a certain amount of beauty that truly comes from it being a Winter Wonderland.  I find myself staring at the sparkle in the white snow that sits on top of our lawn.  I am lost looking at all the frosted branches outlined in freshly dropped snow or the snow capped mountains, with all its wonderful textures illuminated against the sunset.  Or the illumination of the white Christmas lights against the icicles underneath the fluffy snow on the rooftops.  And the other day, someone told my son to stare at the snowflakes he caught from the falling snow, and it was me who was enthralled by the wonder of design caught in these little specks they call snow.  Sometimes, I can be seen staring at the snowflakes caught in between my dual paned windows frozen in all its beauty and glory.  It's truly been quite captivating thus far.

But then I have all these questions.  Like how do people have funerals in the snow?  Or fix their roofs in the snow?  Or do construction in the snow?  Or what happens to the fish in ponds in people's backyards?  Or can an icicle kill you?  Or how many calories am I burning when I shovel the ordinance mandated sidewalks (thank goodness for our heated driveway)?  Or how does a snow blower work and when can I get one and how much will it cost me?  Sometimes I'm afraid to ask these questions outloud to the other Native Utahans (?) for the fear of how silly I'll sound.  How naive and unacquainted with the snow I have been thus far in my adult life, eh?

I like the snow here better than in Spokane, because here (so far), the sun comes out a long and it doesn't feel as gloomy.  The roads are also cleared a lot faster, even for us up in the mountains.  Here, the snow is plentiful and sparkles instead of laying dormant and blackened on the road (I'm sure it will be like that eventually).  Spokane was nice in the sense that there never was much snow, but I'm told that's just the overall weather this year - cold everywhere, even Sunny southern California where my brother shivered as he told me it was 40 degrees (how quickly he reverts to his California skin even after years in New York's bitter cold).

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Best Kept Secret of Salt Lake City

We've discovered the best kept secret of Salt Lake City (though the Yelp and Urban Spoon reviews would claim otherwise because everyone is already raving about it).... Bombay House who?  This place was good AND affordable... and they have an all you can eat buffet Monday through Saturday for less than $10.  Score!  Only drawback is that it's a bit far.. in the Valley of Salt Lake.  But the owner also has an Indian grocery store linked to it, so you know their ingredients are super duper fresh!  

What is this wonder I speak of?  Zabiha Grill!  This was one of the places on our Wasatch Savings cards (you know those fundraisers they have the kids sell) and boy was it a find and I am so glad we found it now and will have four more years to dine there!

We're not Indian, nor do we know much about Indian food and its authenticity but this place was beyond delicious based on our limited Indian food tasting experiences.  Everything was so deliciously flavored, fresh, and the service was exceptional.  The chef himself even came out to talk to us - it's a whole in the wall kind of place, so it feels very warm and personable.  

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Wedding in St. George

A lot of amazing missionaries graced my life during my investigation prior to becoming a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-Day Saints.  But among them all, two stood out - mainly because they were part of a then new initiative of church tours during an initial introduction to non-members of inactive members of the Church, but also because these two happened to be the two who baptized and confirmed me.  They were younguns when they taught me back here but now both are married!

We had the wonderful opportunity to attend the missionary who baptized me, Marshall Cox's wedding in beautiful and only 4 hours away St. George on Veteran's Day weekend.  I remember when these two boys taught me, they were slightly concerned for their own futures, wondering how they would get married because all these smart, handsome, and awesome guys in our Singles Ward were single (namely Andy, Jamison, and Quinn who were roomies that summer and all joking about how they should have married the first girl they could snatch after their missions). I still think they are awfully young when married (early to mid 20's) but I guess in the Momo world, most do marry young when they are dating to get married (and not to just hook up or have fun or sew their wild oats).  So....

he's married now!  
The other thing that made this wedding so special to us was that we got to see our good friends, the Knights and Wakatsukis (Lee and Banh - maiden names haha), from our Single Ward days.  Even more special was the fact that Lucy and I were both converts (we got baptized within months of each other) that Marshall taught and we were each others' answers to prayers about whether all this stuff was real or not.  It was so fun to be at Marshall's sealing, to sit there and witness his sealing, knowing he was at mine and that he was a huge reason I am where I am today.  It was so surreal and yet so absolutely touching and emotionally spellbinding.  I certainly felt the Spirit testify to me that this was a good thing and something to be super stoked for.  
Following the sealing, we hurried back to grab our kids, who were having a blast with Becky and her husband.  Jordan would run with Jesse and Becky would hold Bubba, but when Becky told Jesse to hold Bubba so she could run with Jordan, Jordan simply said... "no, you hold Bubba, you run with me."  It was so funny to hear Becky recount Jordan's shenanigans.  He really enjoyed the Knights' mansion of a home.  He loved walking down and up the stairs, running around, and yelling for "Jesse? Where are you?!" because it really was easy to lose someone in that huge house.  
And then off to the luncheon we went.  It was pretty much ALL family with the exception of the two Asian girls sitting at the back table with their Hapa husbands and my energetic 2 year old running around.  
The setting was so cute - they had apple cider with cinnamon sticks and brown sugar and it was just delicious - we drank enough apple cider for a table of 10 (we had the four of us plus the kids).
And then we went back to the Knights' home and everyone slept while I tried to do some work. 
Before the reception at night, we went to Bed, Bath and Beyond to get our wedding presents.  It was there that Lucy and I noticed how clueless we were before getting married around the house.  We went through their list, making our own decisions about what we should get them instead of what they requested.  In some instances, we got what we considered a "better" substitute, but in other instances, we just got him something not even on their list.  Hahaha.  We're so Asian like that.  

Once at the reception, we stood in line to greet the happy couple and their parents... ate a TON of wings, and then enjoyed our celebrity status as family members would approach us and tell us how fun it was to meet us, the investigators that they heard about in all his letters.  As the first person Marshall baptized, I was quite the celeb.  
It was really fun to talk with his family members, to share some of our "coincidences" from the good ol' days, and to witness Marshall so happy and with his new wifey.  I'm so glad we were close enough and that Andy was able to take time off so we could all go.  Good times were had! 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Take a Photo Mom!

Christmas is in the air despite the fact that Thanksgiving hasn't arrived yet.  Jordan has been asking me to "take a photo Mom!" of him with toys he wants everywhere we go.  It's so cute that I can't resist.  But then when we're home without the toy, he keeps asking about when Christmas is here yet?  This Christmas is going to be so much fun!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Good Eats With Friends

One of the perks of living in Salt Lake as a Momo is that it's a bit like a hub.  The Momo hub.  So whenever friends come into town to visit, we're here!  Unfortunately, one of the quirks of living in Salt Lake is that almost everyone we know has family here.  So instead of making a lot of new friends or seeing our good friends often, everyone's hanging out with family a lot of the time.  So even though our really good friends from South Pas moved to SLC shortly before us, it's been rare for us to find time to hang out.  Well, we finally got around to it and it happened to be the same weekend our other friends from South Pas would be visiting.  The last time we hung out was Christmas 2012 which was also before two of us had our second babies.  
The last time we met in Salt Lake...  
And less than a year later... with our new additions!
The waffles at Bruges and Waffles... absolutely devine.  
The fries are supposed to be good, but Andy and I didn't try any (and the thought did cross my mind when he asked me what to order that I should advise him to get something sweet and salt, but then I ignored the thought and he only ordered us sweet stuff - lesson learned, content communicate or order yourself and don't trust your hubs hahaha).  
We sat on the deck and fenced our boys in with chairs and let them run amuck.  It's really neat when the kids grow up and are able to interact because less than a year ago, Jordan was the only one walking but now all three were causing trouble...
And a group photo I made into a gif!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Mommy the Pushover

Hi, my name's Mommy, the pushover, so nice to meet you.

Every Wednesday, well...almost every Wednesday, Andy goes to play basketball during the boy's bedtime.  Every Wednesday, like a fool, I have grand expectations of all the things I'll do in my free time whether it's on the computer, in the house, or whilst watching television.  Instead, every Wednesday, I battle with my two children for almost two hours as I wait for them to fall asleep.

Normally, we read some books, brush Jordan's teeth, read scriptures, pray, and then play whatever game Jordan desires.  If I'm lucky, it's just a "come sleep with me while I fall asleep" game. And Bubba will fall asleep while nursing and then transition easily to his crib.  I can't remember the last time that happened even if it was just last week.  Because the truth is, every awful encounter (which seems the norm lately) has me wondering why me?! why me?! ugh!  ugh!  Ahhh!!!  JUST GO TO SLEEEP SONSSSSSSSSSS!!!

Today, Bubba decided he didn't want to be on his own.  Anytime I put him into the crib, he shrieked in pain and started to cry.  Jordan decided he would help me soothe and calm Bubba.  Everytime I told Bubby not to do this or that or to go to sleep, an echo was heard from Jordan.  He mimicked my every move, even when I sat up against his wall on his bed to tell HIM (Jordan) to go to sleep, he thought I was telling BUBBA to go to sleep and he copied me again.  Imitation is the highest form of flattery right?  I remembered looking at the walls, wondering when my night time routine became a battle of GO TO SLEEP.  I don't even remember what it's like to be without kids and just go to sleep cuz I feel like it without worrying about them going to sleep.  I mean, at what point does a child realize the fight to sleep is actually a luxury that isn't worth rebelling against?

Cries from Bubba.  Silliness from Jordan.  He got up and started marching around.  Asking me questions about why Bubba wouldn't go to sleep.  The irony of it all.  "Sun down Bubba, just go to sleep Bubby!" he would tell him.  Meanwhile, Bubba's screams would subside for a few seconds when he thought Jordan or I was playing with him through the gaps of his crib when in reality I (followed immediately by Jordan) was sternly advising him to go to sleep.  A few coos were heard from Bubba followed by very obvious attempts to cry and lure himself back into my embrace.  I wouldn't fall for that!  Then Jordan asked me to turn off his light.  The very light that he needs on or he won't fall asleep because it's too dark.  I wasn't born yesterday Jordan!  I ain't falling for that!  Then he marched around, and all I could think of was how hard I was trying not to laugh right outloud.  Where does he get this from?  Oh yeah, me maybe... but still.  Then, he told me he was sad.  When asked why, he told me because I wouldn't go sleep with him despite me laying there and him just laughing or hugging me on and off, anything to avoid that dreadful thing called sleep. And then I'd ask him to close his eyes and he'd close em, then flutter them and then sit up and stare at Bubba with his mouth wide open as if to say, "oh no!  why isn't he asleep?!"  My silly billy.  

Yawns.  Eyes starting to close.  And then, with a jolt, "I wanna sleep with you Mommy."  Okay, so let's go lie down together.  "I wanna sleep with you in Mommy and Daddy's room," ... see it never ends.  I can't win.  Even after we told Bubba he wasn't allowed to sleep in Mommy and Daddy's room.  So I did what anyone would do.  I came to my computer to blog about it and Jordan circled me for a few minutes... asked me to go sleep with him.. and then, exhausted (at last), he retreated to bed.  Without me so much as asking or suggesting or coaxing.. just all on his own.

So maybe we need to move their bedtimes back a bit?  But no, then where would our routine (the one where we START putting them to bed at the same time, go?)

And here I am...
The clothes still aren't washed.  The dishes still aren't put away.  The work I have left still isn't done.  No TV has been watched.  But I tell you, the minute they are asleep and I see their sweet sleeping faces, it's as if all the awfulness from the night has been erased.  Time is still as I stare at the two best things I've ever done in this life.  Tabula Rasa.  And we'll start it all over again next Wednesday.  Same time.  Same place.

Mommy the Pushover

cuz this would never happen with Andy.

Also, I just was about to go check on Jordan when I heard him say, "B...Y...U...Cougars!" and then he chanted it three more times.  .......